Expect 'a very different style of government,' says key Theresa May ally Mike Penning

Theresa May will be a very different type of Prime Minister to David Cameron, according to one of the key insiders in her rise to the top job.

Thursday, 14th July 2016, 5:48 pm
Updated Thursday, 25th August 2016, 5:04 pm

Mike Penning, MP for Hemel Hempstead, was one of the major figures in Mrs May’s campaign to win the Conservative leadership election.

And having worked closely with her for a number of years in the Home Office, he spoke about what sort of the government we can expect.

He said: “It’ll be a very different type of government under Theresa.

“It will be much more cabinet-style of government - she definitely does listen, and then she’ll make her mind up. She’s worked her way up through the ranks, and she doesn’t have a clique around her.

“The markets are already thrilled she’s become Prime Minister so quickly, rather than after a long leadership election.

“And, of course, she has said that Brexit means Brexit.”

While Mrs May campaigned for Remain in the recent EU referendum, Mr Penning was a Brexit supporter.

But he did not see the formation of the new government as being dominated by the issue.

He said: “She’s a one nation Conservative. She’s going to promote more women to the cabinet, but they will be there on merit rather than on gender.

“Theresa will be a very different type of Prime Minister than we have seen for the last 40 years. There are comparisons to Margaret Thatcher, and they are both tough but effective women, but they are also very different.

“Mrs Thatcher was a woman of her time, while Theresa will listen much more - but once she’s made up her mind, that’s it.”

Although Mr Penning served alongside Mrs May in the Home Office, he stressed that she would distribute government jobs based on who was the best person for the role rather than on alliances.

He said: “When Theresa went to kiss hands with the Queen I didn’t know what sort of job I could expect and neither did anybody else. I couldn’t have eve even told you what job Chris Grayling would have after chairing her campaign team.

“She’s quite traditional in that, until she had seen the Queen, she wouldn’t give anyone a job.

“This was the fifth cabinet reshuffle that I’ve been involved in, and it’s quite interesting to see how it compares.”